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Eight short stories about feisty women who find out the hard way that their men know how to handle them.
In these holiday tales ranging from Valentine’s Day to Halloween, the ladies try everything from pranks to bad attitudes, to lying and sorcery, but the end results are never what they expected.
A collection of cute romance fiction stories you won’t want to miss!
Publisher's Note: This anthology contains elements of domestic discipline, humor and romance.
Miranda winced and then spoke quickly, "I know, I know! I shouldn't have accepted…but she really left me little choice. How could I turn her down?"
"Easily!" her husband growled into the telephone. "You use a little word called no!"
She heard him sigh heavily down the other end of the line before continuing, "Well, you're just going to have to tell her you can't do it. It's as simple as that. You got yourself into this mess, now, you'll have to get yourself out of it. You know I've already arranged for us to go to my mother's for dinner."
"No buts," he interrupted. "You know how important this day is to my mother…and to me. When you go back to work after lunch, you tell her straight. Do you hear?"
"Yes, Matt." she mumbled. "But she isn't going to like it."
"I don't care. That woman's far too bossy. I don't know why you bother staying there; you should find another job."
"I like it there," Miranda said indignantly. "Yes, Sandra can be a bit…overbearing, but most of the time, she's not there. When she is, I just have to learn to live with it, that's all."
"That's as it may be, but on this occasion, I'm not going to live with it—so you tell her straight, okay?"
"I guess so. I'll see you tonight." Miranda nearly slammed the phone down but remembered just in time what happened the last time she did that to Matt. Her bottom tingled at the memory.
She left the phone box and slowly made her way back to work. Sandra Wallis, her immediate boss, wasn't easy to work with, at all, far from it, in fact. She waltzed around the office, dictating to all and sundry in her clipped tones and dishing out orders—left, right and centre. But when she wasn't around, the firm was a delight to work for.
Miranda sighed and dropped her shoulders slightly as she entered the building. This wasn't going to be easy.
* * *
"Ah, there you are, Miranda!" Sandra was standing at the reception desk when Miranda came back from lunch. "Can you sort this out for me? The dry cleaners are trying to tell me that my suit won't be ready for Friday but it has to be. Get onto the manager and don't take any nonsense."
"Sandra, can I have a word?" Miranda asked.
Sandra breezed past her towards the exit. "Not now, Miranda. I have a meeting with Gerald Forbes from Hutchings." She glanced at her watch and rolled her eyes. "And I'm late, already. Be a dear and get those dreadful dry cleaning people sorted."
And that was it. She was gone. Miranda stared at the revolving doors and groaned aloud. When on earth was she going to get the chance to tell her? And how could she tell her without upsetting her? Being Sandra's personal assistant was sometimes a bit too challenging.
Friday was St. Patrick's Day and, every year, without fail, Miranda went with Matt to his mother's to celebrate, as did the rest of his siblings. It was always a full house and usually quite fun, an event she looked forward to. Just not this time. Two weeks ago, Sandra had asked her to help organise the company's annual charity event, something Miranda was usually only too happy to do. She'd agreed, not looking at the date, and now, it transpired it was St. Patrick's Day!
She'd waited a week before telling Matt, putting off the inevitable tongue lashing she knew he'd give her. She hadn't been wrong.
His mother was Irish and had moved to America in her teens. Although Matt and his younger sister had been born in America, they both had a slight Irish inflection in their voice. It had set Matt apart from others when they'd first met and she'd immediately fallen for him. Even now, his voice could send shivers down her spine.
St. Patrick's Day was, understandably, a big event in the Doyle family's calendar, which is why she'd put off telling Matt for as long as she could. Now she'd told him, he'd made it plain she had to tell Sandra.
Miranda walked past reception and entered the lift, pressing the button for the third floor. She leaned against the railing as the double doors closed and turned to see her reflection in the mirrored walls. Her blue-grey eyes stared back at her, a hint of derision in their depths. She was a coward. She should speak up to Sandra more, she knew it. With a sigh of exasperation, she turned her back to the railing and crossed her arms.
The lift opened at her floor and she stepped out into the foyer, her high heels sinking into the carpet as she walked to her office. Sandra had left a note on her desk and a dry-cleaning chit. She sat down and reached for the telephone; at least that was one thing she could sort out. The other problem would have to wait until Sandra arrived back in the office.
* * *
The heavenly smell of cooking assailed Miranda's senses as she walked through her front door, which could mean only one thing: Matt was home early and had already started dinner. Excellent! She kicked off her shoes and headed towards the kitchen.
"Hi, hon." She stood on tiptoe and kissed her husband on the lips, whilst he slipped an arm around her waist. "Did you have a good day?"
"Not bad. You?"
He studied her face, narrowing his eyes thoughtfully. "You didn't tell her, did you?"
"I did," she lied carefully. "Of course, I did."
"Hmm. How'd she take it, then?"
Miranda walked over to the fridge and opened the door, shielding her face from his. "Quite well. She said Lucy could cover for me. I'll help as much as I can with the organising but Lucy will have to be there on the day."
"You'd better be telling the truth."
"Of course, I am!" Miranda retorted angrily, grabbing a carton of grape juice. "I wouldn't lie to you, honestly."
She measured out a glass of juice and put the carton back in the fridge before slipping past her husband. "I'm going to take a quick shower before dinner. Will it be long?"
"About fifteen minutes."
She left her husband to concentrate on their evening meal and made a hasty retreat to their bedroom. Why had she lied to him? Simple. If she'd told him the truth, she would now be over his knee, receiving hefty swats on her derriere. If he told her to do something, then he expected it to be done. Simple as. She groaned. What was she going to do now?
St. Patrick's Day…
The party was in full swing. Dinner was over and everyone had moved to the conservatory, where the double doors had been opened to allow people to mingle in the gardens as well as the house.
Miranda smiled as she accepted another glass of champagne from her husband. She was glad she'd come. Her mother-in-law always put on a good spread and it was nice to catch up with other members of the family. Apart from Christmas, this was the only time of the year they all made the effort to actually meet up.
"I'm just popping out to the car, love. Henry said I left my sidelights on."
"Okay, hon." She watched her husband as he weaved his way through various relatives. He was just as handsome now as he had been ten years ago, when they'd first met. She had been twenty-one and he twenty-nine. This year was their sixth wedding anniversary and she could honestly say it was six years of wedded bliss…well, apart from the occasional bottom blistering he liked to administer. She scowled and took a sip of her drink.
"That's a dark look, if ever I saw one," her sister-in-law said as she joined her, giggling. "What's up?"
Miranda smiled at Stephanie, Matt's sister. "Nothing. Just thinking, that was all."
"Well, don't, if it makes you scowl. It's not good for the complexion."
"Oh, my God! Have I got frown lines?" Miranda frantically ran a hand over her forehead.
Stephanie sniggered. "No, but it stopped you scowling, didn't it?"
Miranda rolled her eyes. "One of these days, Steph! One of these days!"
* * *
Matt leaned into his car and turned the sidelights off. It wasn't like him to leave lights on; usually, he was quite fastidious about such things. What if the battery had been drained? Shaking his head, he sat in the driver's seat and put the key in the ignition. The car fired to life straight away and he breathed a huge sigh of relief. As he switched the engine off, he became aware of a distant ringing sound. Puzzled, he looked around the car, trying to locate the whereabouts of the noise. His gaze finally rested on the passenger side of the car. The insistent ringing was coming from his wife's mobile phone—she'd left it in the door compartment.
Matt picked it up and looked at the caller. Sandra Wallis, her boss.
"Matt? Is that you?" Her shrill voice echoed down the line and Matt had to pull the phone away from his ear to avoid damaging his ear drums.
"Yes, Sandra. What can I do for you?"
"Thank heavens! I'm so sorry to be calling when Miranda's ill but everything's going wrong! The caterer turned up late, the flowers were the wrong shade of pink. Good lord, I think I'm on the edge of a nervous breakdown!"
For a moment, Matt was flummoxed. Had he heard right? His wife was ill?
"So why have you phoned, Sandra?" he asked carefully.
"Miranda has left Lucy in charge of everything but Lucy couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery. She's driving me insane. Your wife couldn't have chosen a worse time to become ill!"
Matt could feel his anger rise to the surface but he did his best to curb it. "Sandra, one doesn't choose when one is going to become ill."
"Still," she argued. "It's created a whole heap of problems. Most, I have been able to cope with—but this one, I simply cannot! The photographer has failed to show up and Lucy omitted his name from the list. I have to find out who and where he is!"
Matt sighed with exasperation. "Surely, there must be someone else who can help you?"
"No, I'm afraid there isn't. I need Miranda and now. This is most urgent! Can't you take the phone to her?"
"No, she may still be asleep." he lied. "But I'll get her to phone you as soon as she wakes, okay, Sandra?"
"Thank you, Matt, you are a dear."
He clicked the phone shut and stared at it. So, she was supposed to be ill, was she? She'd lied to him! For nearly a week, she'd strung him along, saying that she'd told her boss she couldn't make it tonight, when in actual fact, she'd just chickened out and told her she was ill! Boy, was she going to pay for this one.
Thrusting the phone in his trouser pocket, Matt made his way back into the house.
* * *
Miranda was sipping her drink and laughing at something Stephanie was saying as Matt approached them.
"Do you mind, Steph, I need a word with Miranda…in private."
"Oh, sure, Matt." Stephanie immediately left them in peace. She knew by her brother's tone that he wasn't a happy bunny.
Miranda stared at her husband. Something was up and her stomach flipped nervously.
"What is it, Matt?"
Matt stared at her, a deep, assessing look in his eyes. She didn't like it. That was a look that said her butt was going to get a roasting.
Without taking his eyes off her, Matt handed her the phone. She looked at it and then back to him.
"You left your phone in the car and it just rang. Would you like to know who it was?"
Oh, no! Not Sandra. Please, God, not Sandra! "Who?" she gulped nervously.
She licked her lips before answering. "What did she want?"
"It seems her photographer hasn't turned up. Even though you're ill, she still needs your help. Apparently, his name's not on the list."
"Yes, oh! So why did you lie to me?"
Miranda thought hard. What could she say? Matt hated lying…in any form, and it usually meant her butt would get roasted alive. She shuffled uncomfortably under his gaze.
"Take the phone into the other room and call Sandra. You and I will have this discussion later, when we get home."
She swallowed hard and tried to still her nervous breathing. "Matt, I tried to tell her about tonight but I…"
Matt lifted his hand, stalling her words. "Did I or did I not just say that we'll have this conversation later?"
Miranda paled. "I'll go and phone Sandra." She scuttled away quickly into one of the upstairs bedrooms, closing the door to shut out the music from below. She groaned and closed her eyes as she leaned against the wooden frame. God! Matt was mad, and if she'd said anymore, it would have meant a heavier spanking later on—as she was in no doubt her bottom would be blistered.
Sighing heavily, she flipped open her phone and dialled Sandra's number. She made her voice soft and weak, pretending she was calling from her sick bed as she spoke to her boss. Sandra was in a right tizzy, calling the photographer all the names under the sun. When she'd finished her tirade, she handed Miranda over to Lucy so she could give her the photographer's number.
Miranda felt a tug of sympathy for her poor colleague and a pang of guilt rushed through her—but it soon evaporated as she heard Sandra's loud voice in the background. Seriously, she was thankful not to be there. She ended the call, leaving Lucy to sort out the chaos. Perhaps, for once, her boss would appreciate her.
Now, all she had to do was placate one very angry husband!
* * *
Matt was livid. Miranda knew he hated her lying to him and yet she had done just that. He'd managed another half an hour at the party before making their excuses and driving home.
He glanced at his wife as she sat beside him in the passenger seat. She wore a worried expression and was fiddling with her hands nervously. And well she might be nervous, he thought.
He pulled the car into the drive and switched off the engine. Miranda was already unbuckling her seatbelt and quickly stepped out of the car, making a hasty dive for the front door. Matt followed behind, watching as she fumbled with her house key. He calmly took it out of her hand and unlocked the front door, whilst she stood nervously by his side.
Once inside, he flipped on the light switch and walked through to the lounge, his wife in tow.
"Sit down. I want to hear your explanation as to why you lied to me and Sandra, before I punish you."
"Oh, Matt…this isn't fair!" Miranda wailed.
"Don't 'oh, Matt' me. You know the score. I hate lying; I can't abide it. But before I blister your bottom, I'd like to hear why you did it."
Miranda sat down on the edge of the sofa and wrung her hands together. Matt stood before her, his arms crossed, his jaw set as he waited for her explanation.
Miranda plucked at the hem of her dress as she spoke. "I didn't want to lie to you, Matt, honestly…but the opportunity never arose to tell Sandra about St. Patrick's Day."
"Never arose? You've had nearly a week, woman. You know how important this day is to me."
"I know, Matt, and I did try…honest I did! But Sandra doesn't sit still for five minutes and I just never got the chance to tell her. I thought it would be easier if I pretended I was ill."
"And lie to me in the process!"
"Matt, it's not like that."
"Isn't it? It damn well looks like it, from where I'm standing," he growled ominously.
"But I did turn up for the party, didn't I?" she reasoned. "At least, I didn't let you down."
"Go and get the paddle!"
* * *
Reluctantly, Miranda walked into the bedroom and dug around in her wardrobe until her hand closed around the horrid paddle. She hated the thing and had often thought about burning it but knew that Matt would just replace it with something bigger and more powerful. Plus, her butt would be paddled into the next century for daring to do such a thing to his sacred paddle! Bloody thing! If she was superman, she'd burn it with her laser beam eyes but then she wasn't and couldn't…so there was no point in even thinking such a thought. She held the dreaded paddle in front of her and headed back to the lounge.
Matt had taken off his jacket and rolled up his shirt sleeves. Her stomach flipped as she watched him. He had muscular forearms and they never failed to kick her hormones into orbit, even on days like today, with a spanking looming.
She handed the paddle to Matt and looked at him sulkily.
"You can take that look off your face. You know exactly why you're getting this." He pointed to the end of the couch. "Lean over the end."
She knew the drill—position herself over the arm of the couch, bottom in the air, elbows on the cushion and await her fate. She thought about arguing further but decided it would only make things worse in the long run, so she did as she was told and waited for the first stroke to land.
Matt took his time, raising her skirt, pulling her panties to her knees and moving her legs slightly apart so he could get the best shot at her buns. Anyone would think he was enjoying himself, she thought petulantly.
The first blow landed and Miranda sucked in a sharp breath of air as the pain invaded her senses.
She uttered a small shriek and tried to move forwards but Matt immediately pulled her back into position.
He then continued a steady rhythm that would have had Miranda dancing around the room—if he hadn't been holding her down securely with his free hand. As his swats continued, all she could do was kick her legs out and hope it wouldn't last too long.
Schwat! Schwat! Schwat! Schwat!
"Aoow! That hurts… Oooh! Stop! Stop!" Her face was scrunched up with pain and her hands gripped the cushion as her body thrust forward with each stroke. "Please stop, Matt. I promise I won't ever lie to you again…please?"
"No!" Schwat! Schwat! "You know what happens when you lie." Schwat! "You took that risk." Schwat! "Now you're paying for it!"
Four more swats followed. Miranda's bottom felt like a furnace—a deep burning heat that she knew she'd still be feeling many hours later. She knew there'd be bruises, as well. The paddle never failed to leave its mark on her bottom, marks that would stay for days, as a reminder.
Still, he continued.
"That's too hard! It hurts! Aooooooowwwww!" she wailed.
"As well it should," he growled into her ear as he leaned down. "Perhaps, it might sink in how I truly detest lying, as it doesn't seem to have worked up until now."
He brought the paddle smacking down onto her sit spots and then worked his way up again with five more swats.
Miranda gasped as the paddle bit into her tender flesh, wondering if he was ever going to stop.
Finally, Matt ceased. He lay the paddle next to her on the couch, leaving his hands free to rub the hot surface of her now very red bottom. His hands lingered on her soft flesh, lovingly stroking her sexy, curvaceous buttocks.
Even though her bottom was sore, she still loved the feeling of his hands on her backside and it never failed to turn her on. Her bottom was throbbing and sending delicious signals to her libido. She wanted him and wanted him now! She pushed her bottom into his hand and arched her back.
She heard him unzip his fly and drop his trousers. And then, she gasped with pleasure as she felt him enter her, filling her completely with his great size. He gripped her hips with his large hands and began a steady rhythm that soon had her crying out with joy, meeting thrust for thrust as he pounded relentlessly into her pliant body.
With one final thrust, they came together, perfectly timed and in perfect unison.
Matt collapsed on her back and wrapped his arms around her waist. "Sometimes, Miranda, you can be quite the little devil."
Miranda sniggered and looked at him over her shoulder. "Is that a good thing or a bad thing?"
"Both!" He kissed her nose and withdrew from her body. "Come on, let's go to bed. You've got a lot of thinking to do this weekend."
"Yes, I suppose I have," agreed Miranda. The main topic being—did she want to continue working for a woman like Sandra, or not?
* * *
Monday morning arrived, and Miranda straightened her back as she walked towards work. Today, she'd decided she would hand in her notice. Working for Sandra was becoming unbearable. She'd tried to fool herself into thinking she could handle her boss, but the truth was, she couldn't. The woman was completely unpleasant.
As she walked through the revolving doors, she was met by an exuberant Lucy.
"Miranda, am I glad to see you! Did you hear about Friday?"
"Sandra's been suspended!"
"Yep. Do you know who the photographer was?"
"James McElroy. But what's that got to do with Sandra being suspended?"
"I'll get to that! So, do you know who James is?"
"Not really. He was just recommended by Henry Stiles."
Henry Stiles was on the board of directors and got on well with nearly everyone…everyone, that is, except Sandra.
"Well…James is Henry's nephew."
"Yes, oh!" Lucy laughed. "And Sandra was so rude to him, he threatened to spank her. Can you believe it?"
Miranda made suitable noises but secretly could well believe it. Perhaps it was just what Sandra needed. It was a pity he hadn't carried out his threat.
"Not only that," Lucy continued. "But Henry Stiles was there and witnessed everything. Sandra was suspended on the spot and told not to come back to work for two weeks. It was great…you should've been there."
"Oh, my God! So, we have two whole weeks of peace and harmony. This is brilliant."
"I thought you'd be pleased."
Pleased was an understatement. She'd been dreading Sandra's wrath over her taking sick leave on Friday night. Now, she didn't have to worry and had the next two weeks Sandra-free. Brilliant!
She could only hope that Sandra's suspension would change her ways when she arrived back. But then, could a leopard change its spots?
Miranda sighed and reached for the telephone. Perhaps she ought to contact the job agency, just in case.